If you’ve been looking for a way to beat the heat, there’s some good news ahead. Ottawa’s pools are reopening on July 6, but things are going to look a little different. From swimming appointments to pre-pool health checks, there’s plenty to know before diving right on in.

Just in time for the super-hot weather to kick in, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has given the city’s indoor and outdoor pools the go-ahead to reopen.

Starting on Monday July 6, a number of wading pools and swimming pools will be reopening to the public, with new COVID-19 health and safety precautions in place.

While the prospect of getting back into the water is exciting, it’s important to be prepared next time you hit the pool. You’ll need a face mask and preferably goggles, and showering at home before visiting the pool is advised.

Like many other public places, you’ll also see plexiglass shields at customer service points, signage to help physical distancing and you'll be asked to wear a mask while you’re on the premises. 

When you’re swimming, keep a 2 metre physical distance from others, asks Ottawa Public Health, and follow proper hygiene at all times.

For the time being, saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools, diving boards and water slides will remain closed.

Upon arriving at a public swim facility, you may be asked to complete a “self-assessment for COVID-19 symptoms” before you’re let in.

You may also need to book your swim beforehand, by calling your local pool. Upon arrival, you'll be given a wrist band with your pre-reserved swim time. 

“Swims will be scheduled in one-hour sessions with fifteen-minute blocks between sessions,” explains OPH. This will enable staff to manage numbers and to complete additional cleaning.

If your local pool hasn’t reopened just yet, don’t worry. The city’s swimming spots are reopening as part of a phased approach, with the first batch opening on July 6 and the rest following one week later.

For the list of pools that will not be reopening, click here.

Ottawa’s pools reopening follows a similar move from Toronto, who reopened their pools and splash pads just in time for Canada Day.

With increasingly warm weather across the province, a refreshing dip has never sounded so appealing!

*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.

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